The Bull-Jean Stories

By Sharon Bridgforth

Fiction. African American Studies. LGBT Studies

Using traditional storytelling and nontraditional verse to chronicle the course of love returning in the lifetimes of one woman-loving-woman named bull-dog-jean, the bull-jeanstories give cultural documentation and social commentary on African-American herstory and survival. Set in the rural South of the 1920s, THE BULL-JEAN STORIES herald the spirit of African-American people.

“BULL-JEAN STORIES by Sharon Bridgforth isn’t a book that you read, it’s a book that you hear…The language in THE BULL-JEAN STORIES is sweet and intense, as are the thoughts and exploits of bull-dog-jean. Every passage sings…This book gets my unqualified recommendation and also a suggestion: if you can get Austin performance artist Bridgforth to your town for a reading, do it. You won’t be disappointed.”—Sara Look

“The book [THE BULL-JEAN STORIES] brings to life the sights and sounds of the rural south in the 1920s with stories that leap to you from the well of love and life, untangling open heart wounds with words and uncovering the strength of the author in pure character. ..Bridgforth’s talent as a storyteller is purposeful and loving. Consistent in THE BULL-JEAN STORIES is the cultural shadow that bull-jean, an ‘all-my-heart’ revolutionary, secretly and outwardly conquers with nobility and ease, but not without pain…The book carries you with it, not the other way around.”—Sandra Beckmeier

“…Set in the rural South of the 1920s, these stories are infused with a mother tongue that will work its magic on you, transporting you in time and place…The non-linear structure of her poetic/circular storytelling in the bull- jean stories makes for a natural transition from page to stage. It also is a very ingenious way to highlight what is the essence of oral tradition: how it sounds…Here the rhythm and the flow of the words and the dialect come together as if in song. These jazzy poetic riffs need to be read aloud. This is one book that should come with a CD—Bridgforth’s language begs to be heard.”—Debra Hiers

“It reads like a play, speaks like a poem, visualizes like scenes from a movie, and lingers in your ear like your favorite song. Hooray for sharon bridgforth on her first published performance stories. It includes all the literary elements you expect in a novel: setting—the rural south of the 1920s; a round character—bull- dog jean la rue; plot and conflict—will she or won’t she find ‘Lovve’?; and style, tone, and language woven in the oral tradition of Southern dialect. Yet it’s not (a novel, that is)…Perhaps the brilliance of the work is the way bridgforth infuses historical data into humor, sentiment, and lyrical prose, illuminating what it meant to be an African-American butch lesbian living in the South…Truly, what bridgforth has done with this collection, THE BULL-JEAN STORIES, is sure to set a precedent for future storytelling writers. It is a must-have in your repertoire.”—Lambda Book Report

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